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Kathy Manley's Strawberry jam and other must-have recipes

Photos courtesy of Cornell Cooperative Extension


There are as many ways to make strawberry jam as there are strawberry jam-makers, but Kathy Manley is the jam and canning master of Lexington Co-op’s annual “Prepare to Preserve” classes. Get the expert tips with her winning recipe.


Kathy Manley's Strawberry Jam


STEP 1Equipment:

Boiling water canner

5 half-pint jars

5 lids and screw bands

Jar lifter, magnet, and wide-mouth funnel (optional, but helpful)

Various size bowls 

Ladle, large spoon, potato masher

6-quart sauce pan

1 box Pomona’s Universal Pectin


CLEAN jars and lids: Wash jars, lids, and screw bands in hot soapy water. Rinse well and drain. Not necessary to dry. Inspect jars for nicks, cracks, and chips.

HEAT JARS: Place rack in the bottom of canner, then place the required number of jars on the rack. When using 8-ounce jars or smaller, add water to the jars and canner until it reaches the top of the jars. For pint and larger jars, add water to the jars and canner until the jars are two-thirds full. Cover the canner and bring the water to a simmer over medium heat. Not necessary to boil jars; heat processing destroys any microorganisms.

PREPARE THE LIDS: Set screw bands aside; they do not require heating. Place the lids in a small saucepan, cover with water and bring to a simmer.  Do not boil. Keep lids hot until ready to use.


STEP 2: Ingredients

4 cups mashed strawberries (about 8 cups whole strawberries, approximately 2 quarts)

2 teaspoons calcium water (see directions below)

¾ to 2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons Pomona’s pectin powder (from 1 box Pomona’s Universal Pectin) 


STEP 3:  Prepare calcium water 

Combine ½ teaspoon calcium powder (in the small packet in your box of Pomona’s Universal Pectin) with ½ cup water in a small, clear jar with a lid. Shake well. Extra calcium water should be stored in the refrigerator for future use.


STEP 4:  Strawberry Jam Instructions

Wash, remove hulls, and mash strawberries. Measure into sauce pan. 

Add calcium water and mix well.

Measure sugar into a bowl. Thoroughly mix pectin powder into sugar. Set aside.

Bring fruit mixture to a full boil. Add pectin-sugar mixture, stirring vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes to dissolve the pectin while the jam comes back up to a boil. Once the jam returns to a full boil, remove it from the heat.

Fill hot jars to ¼ inch of top. Wipe rims clean. Screw on 2-piece lids. Put filled jars in boiling water to cover. Boil 10 minutes.  Let jars rest in canner approximately 5 minutes. Remove jars from water. Let jars cool. Check seals; lids should be sucked down. Eat within 1 year. Lasts 3 weeks once opened.

Note: If you’re not sure if your jam is sweet enough, taste it after the pectin is dissolved and jam has come back up to a boil. If not, add more sweetener and stir 1 minute at full boil.



To macerate strawberries, sprinkle clean, hulled, cut berries with sugar (1 cup per quart of berries, or to taste). Let stand 1 hour. Serve them as they are, or use for:


Strawberries Romanoff

Whip with an electric beater 1 pint of ice cream

Fold into the ice cream 1 cup of whipped cream

Add 6 tablespoons cointreau

Mix the strawberries with the cream very gently, with a spoon. Serve in little cups.


Strawberry Shortcake

Heat the oven to 450°

Mix 2 cups flour

    2 tbsp sugar

    3 tbsp baking powder

    a pinch of salt

Add 3/4 cup milk

    1/3 cup melted butter


Mix until combined. Turn dough onto a floured surface. Knead twenty times and pat to ¾-inch thick. Cut with three-inch biscuit cutter, or an upside-down glass. Bake 10-12 minutes on an ungreased sheet. Serve warm, split, and filled with macerated strawberries (covered in whipped cream, if desired).


Strawberry Ice-Cream Soda

Muddle a few healthy spoonfuls of sugared berries with a dash of milk or cream in a pretty glass. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream (or other flavor) and top with club soda.


Want to know where to pick your own strawberries? Here's a list of WNY locations.


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